Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
With this sequel to his prize-winning independent previous film, "El Mariachi," director Robert Rodriquez joins the ranks of Sam Peckinpah and John Woo as a master of slick, glamorized ultra-violence. We pick up the story as a continuation of "El Mariachi," where an itinerant musician, looking for work, gets mistaken for a hitman and thereby entangled in a web of love, corruption, and death. This time, he is out to avenge the murder of his lover and the maiming of his fretting hand, which occurred at the end of the earlier movie. However, the plot is recapitulated, and again, a case of mistaken identity leads to a very high body count, involvement with a beautiful woman who works for the local drug lord, and finally, the inevitable face-to-face confrontation and bloody showdown. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
There are so many adjectives one could use describing this film, I wouldn't know where to begin to start. I'll just try to limit them to a few. The headline here states one of them. Others could be "ludicrous," "fun," "amusing," "stupid," etc. You get the idea.
Robert Rodriguez took the profits from his first film, "El Mariachi," and continued on with the story now with more funds, so he made it glossier, more explosive, added some name actors and, of course, way overdid it, making it almost a cartoon it is so outrageous. He continued this with the third film, "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" which is even more of the same.
If something worked subtly the first time, filmmakers think that to improve on it is by bombarding the audience with it the next time. They don't know when enough is enough and, boy, does that apply to Rodriguez. He does keep you entertained, though, once you check your brains at the door and begin watching the show. However, all this excess makes it lose any credibility "El Mariachi" might have built up with the first show in this trilogy.
Whether the movie is really dumb or its just tongue-in-cheek humor by Rodriguez, it has super-style and fun to watch. Talk about stylish! No wonder Quentin Tarantino and he are good friends and the latter has a guest appearance in the film. They both love having fun with the cameras.
The first eight minutes let you know what you are in for: outrageousness. It's an 8-minute scene at a bar involving a story told by Steve Buscemi. It's one of the highlights of the movie.
Antonio Bandaras and Selyma Hayek are the "good guys" but they aren't exactly Billy Graham and Mother Teresa. If they are the good guys, you can imagine how evil the "bad guys" are? Speaking of them, two of the toughest- looking hombres in the business are chief among the villains: Joaquim de Almeida and Danny Trejo.
Some of the action scenes are so outrageous you laugh out loud. My favorite was a guy shooting rockets out of his guitar case! As that tells you, it's just a wild ride: 103 minutes of south-of-the-border Rodriguez-Tarantino lunacy and despite what may sound like a bunch of insults, I always have fun watching this movie.
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